If you look at an album review from L.A. outfit The Bronx from the last …
Brisbane’s Deadlights have been working for nine years, but haven’t made much of an impact until their signing to Grayscale Records. Their debut Mesma twists and vaguely turns. The groove that punctuates Wavelength’s end is cut short but lingers long enough for their influences from Every Time I Die to shine through. Early single Invisible Hands is still one of the standouts from the record with guitarist Tynan Reibelt’s vocals immediately catching ears from the get go. Apply that to every track on the record actually, as Reibelt is what sets Deadlights apart.
Unfortunately Know Hope and the greater feel of Mesma is that it’s slightly behind the curve. Comparisons to Queensland contemporaries The Brave aren’t hard to draw, even though Deadlights have a more organic vibe on their debut effort than Epoch offers. The opening of Suadade does them no favours, with a drum and djent pattern that we’ve heard far too many times before.
If everything had matched the quality of their closing track, we may have had one of the surprise contenders for debut of the year.
The mid-song breakdown and vocalist Dylan Davidson’s explosive finale unexpectedly change direction and is anything but atypical of the genre. Ditto for album highlight The Shapeshifter that allows drummer Josh O’Callaghan a breath of fresh air to experiment.
Add harmonies and rising guitar reminiscent of Tool or Dream Theater and it’s a pretty damn impressive effort for a debut. Moments like these show that Deadlights shouldn’t be written off completely, but only makes the safer tracks feel wasted. If everything had matched the quality of their closing track, we may have had one of the surprise contenders for debut of the year.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Invisible Hands, The Shapeshifter, Suadade
STICK THIS NEXT TO: The Brave, Circa Survive, Underoath